Dead Tracks 23

version x13


At work, an occupation dear to him. He expertly runs the equipment, never once complaining. He's on the task he so often repeats.


Alfred receives an item from the carousel. He checks it, an industrial panel beside him, then sends the large bag down a sloped roller conveyor, and thence into the mouth of the oven, where it stops and the door immediately closes. WorksThe bag is made of a special fabric for even combustion of the payload. Swedish technology, Alfred thinks with pride.


At home. Alfred retrieves his dinner. He lives alone. He sits down at a table, beside him a wooden mannequin. It is the mannequin he had practised with when he trained for his job 12 years before. The lights are dimmed. Alfred eats the meat directly from a tin. The television set is on. He turns the dial until the channel is mistuned and the faces are an unrecognisable mush. He stares at the soundless pictures.


The next morning fast arrives. Alfred is weary, and he feels ill. He pours fuel into his black battered car. The moustached station attendant mocks him as usual. On arrival he doesn't greet, takes his position beside the control panel. The oven warms up. He brings a sports bag from his car. He prepares everything, then sends a bag containing the mannequin down the roller conveyor. The glow of the oven illuminates the room through the gratings, brighter than usual.